Post Listing Update: This MAR did not get any interest at the BIN of $7,500.
Mick Andrews first started competing in trials events at the age of 15. Before Andrews turned 18, he was offered a seat on a factory racer for AJS, where he spent the next half-decade. In ‘66 the Elton, Derbyshire-born rider accepted an offer to ride for the Rickman bros, though the following year Andrews inked a deal to race for the Ossa factory team.
In addition to competing aboard the Spanish-made machines, Andrews — who was just 23-years-old at the time — was also tasked with further developing Ossa’s existing trail bike into a title-winning trials mount. And that’s exactly what he did, fine-tuning the machine Andrews went on to pilot to victory at the ‘71 and ‘72 European Trials Championships, as well as back-to-back-to-back titles in the Scottish Six Days Trials in ‘70, ‘71, and ‘72. The machine Andrews designed and developed was fittingly dubbed the “Mick Andrews Replica” or more commonly “MAR” for short.
The next year in ‘73, Andrews got an offer to leave the Spanish marque for Yamaha where Mick assisted in the development of the Tuning Fork Company’s TY250 (and the TY80 and TY175). Andrews’ work developing trials bikes didn’t take away from his competing, with the increasingly seasoned rider claiming the top step of the podium at the Scottish Six Day’s in ‘74 and ‘75. Towards the end of the decade Andrews joined forces with John Edouard Shirt, altering the chassis of the existing TY’s to create the TY Majesty. In 1980 he retired from professional FIM competition, but remained a part of the community, supposedly occasionally taking part in AHRMA events.
The fact Andrews was able to design and develop a title-winning machine is particularly impressive considering trials was far from a niche segment during this era, with fierce competition coming from Ossa’s fellow Spanish companies.
The MAR was one of several competition trials replica production bikes of the era, along with the Sammy Miller-designed Bultaco Sherpa T, and Malcom Rathmell’s Montesa Cota 348. The MAR also proved to be so successful in terms of both trials racers’ results and sales figures that Ossa continued producing the model even after Andrews had jumped ship for Yamaha.
This particular 1972 model year example has received a very thorough restoration and engine rebuild, receiving all new seals, bearings, piston, an “upgraded” con-rod, and a NOS IRZ carb. The tank was also professionally refreshed and repainted, the side panels have seemingly received the same treatment, the frame was powder-coated, and the top-end appears to have been adorned in a fresh coat as well. The cockpit received an original Leonelli handlebar switch and NOS speedometer. The seller says this MAR now, “Runs perfectly, Starts in a few kicks and idles like a dream”.
This MAR also comes with two different seat setups; an original trials seat (that’s been reupholstered with a factory Ossa seat cover); and a thicker, “Ossa Explorer” seat, allowing for proper two-up riding.
This street-legal example is also currently registered (up to date) and plated in the state of California. The headlight and taillight are said to be in working order as well. The sale also includes an upgraded chain-tensioner from Vitale Maquinas that has yet to be installed. There does appear to be a dent in the front fender, but otherwise the bike looks pretty darn clean. The current owner says very few miles have been put on the Ossa since the rebuild (the ad says 300), and it’s primarily served as a show-piece in their living room following the completion of the extensive restoration.
To get a sense of what MARs are worth these days, one restored ‘76 MAR 250 sold at Mecum’s Vegas auction in January of 2017 for $5,170, while a ‘72 MAR specimen — which isn’t specified as a 250 or 350 — only fetched $3,450 at Bonhams’ 2018 Vegas event, despite the prestigious auction house describing the example’s restoration as “museum quality”. Perhaps 350cc examples — which appear to be quite a bit rarer than the quarter-liter MARs — are markedly more valuable, maybe someone more informed than myself can clarify in the comments? Otherwise the seller’s asking price seems a bit ambitious. Beautiful bike though.
You can find this 1972 Ossa Mick Andrews Replica (VIN: 343133) for sale in Sacramento, California with a BIN price of $7,500